Native Instrumentation for Open Source Software with OpenTelemetry


Authors:   Ted Young, Liudmila Molkova


The presentation discusses the importance of instrumentation and semantic conventions in distributed tracing for libraries and applications using OpenTelemetry SDK.
  • Instrumentation should be opt-in initially and mature over time with user feedback
  • Performance impact should be considered and users should be mindful of costs
  • Semantic conventions are critical for user experience and should be followed
  • Context propagation is essential for distributed tracing and should be implemented in libraries and applications
  • OpenTelemetry SDK provides solutions for instrumentation, semantic conventions, and context propagation
The speaker shared their experience of instrumenting Azure SDKs with OpenTelemetry in various languages and services. They emphasized the importance of tracing complex API calls and outgoing network calls, as well as following semantic conventions for better user experience. They also highlighted the benefits of context propagation in distributed tracing and how it can help users understand the flow of their code and troubleshoot issues more effectively.


If you write OSS software, you may have noticed that it can be surprisingly difficult to provide logs and metrics to the users who run your libraries. OpenTelemetry is designed to solve this problem. OpenTelemetry allows OSS projects – web frameworks, databases, message queues – to move beyond testing and begin to participate in runtime observability, while still giving their end users control over where and how the data is processed. In this session, we will cover: The benefits of OpenTelemetry instrumentation. Guidelines for natively instrumenting your OSS library. Tricky parts, gotchas, and how to minimize them. We will also briefly cover the current state of OpenTelemetry project: Which APIs are currently stable, and what long term support means. Methods for combining tracing and metrics to simplify instrumentation. How to get involved with the native instrumentation effort in OpenTelemetry.


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